Les mamans des malades

Today was a pretty good day.  We didn’t see many patients, which means I was less frustrated with myself.  Since we finished early, I had a chance to walk around the hospital and just watch things.  The construction is always an interesting thing to watch, for both us and the gabonese.  I’ll let Jeff post about the construction, because he has been helping out with that and he could explain better.  Briefly, there is a group of about 11? Americans here to build a building in the middle of the hospital grounds.  At any given point in the day if you go to this area, there are between 5-15 gabonese just sitting and watching and often some white folks too.

After doing that for awhile, I went to talk to one of my patients on the medicine service.  She is here with TB, which means they stay in the hospital for 2 months to have DOTS (directly-observed therapy) to make sure they take their meds.  I learned that the patient 2 doors down was her cousin and I had no idea!  We talked (in french) for about 30 minutes and it was good french practice as well as interesting to learn about her and her family.

After that I walked around a little more and took some pics of the back of the hospital where I found some of the “mamans des malades” (mothers of the sick people) making some food and they wanted their picture taken so of course I came right over!  It is interesting we don’t refer to patients as ‘patients’ but as ‘malades’ (sick people) here.  Also, there is no cafeteria or food service here, so everyone has to have at least one person to stay with them in the hospital to make their food.  That is what these women are doing.  They said they all had babies (some newborns, some sick) in the hospital.  One is shelling peanuts, so I sure hope those weren’t for the baby!  Here are those mamans…



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